You probably know by now that we Huffingtons never miss an opportunity to brag about our artists…all of them work so hard and fill our days with such beauty and inspiration, so when something marvelous happens, we all like to crow!
This month, we’re thrilled to boast about Angie Renfro who just scored a lovely write-up in American Art Collector. Of course, we’re not surprised considering that Angie’s tenderly painted work seldom stays long on our walls.
And as timing would have it, we’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to blog about this honest and humble artist - et voila! It fell perfectly into our laps. And, to get started, here’s Huff Harrington on Angie:
It’s been a few years since Angie burst onto our horizon and we were immediately struck with two things: one, she’s an exceptionally talented artist with a gift for giving true beauty and meaning to life’s often overlooked objects that most of us miss. Second, we gravitated to her lively and fun personality – she’s got an easy-going personality and a whimsical, funny sense of humor.
Our relationship developed over time and over the internet (we know, it sounds weird, but Angie was on one side of the country and we were on the other) and we’ve never failed to be impressed with the insightful and thoughtful paintings Angie sends us. Our clients obviously feel the same way because Angie has fiercely loyal base of fans who can’t get enough of her work.
We can’t quite put our finger on the quality that is infused in her work, but it is always exceptionally heartfelt and gentle. We’ve always loved the multi-layered and transparent technique she uses that fills the paintings with a sense of airiness and space.
Now…here’s Angie on Angie:
Ann and Meg: Give us a little background on yourself and how you began painting.
Angie: It seems I've always been drawn to art. As I kid I would make my own coloring books because I was dissatisfied with the quality of the ones I had. When I was about 10 or so, my parents enrolled me in a painting class that met weekly in our teacher's converted garage. I think it was that early exposure to painting that sparked my love of it and I've been doing it ever since.
Ann and Meg: You seem drawn to things in nature – birds, bees, nests, weeds, twigs. What’s the attraction?
Angie: I'm most drawn to subject matter that is often overlooked. It's not so much about the birds as it is that birds on a telephone wires create a striking composition that often goes unnoticed. The same is true with the bees - I think insects can be really interesting and beautiful and just wanted to play with that idea.
Ann and Meg: How do you paint? Give us a typical hour in Angie’s studio. Is there music? Time of day? Starbucks?
Angie: I usually get to the studio around 11am. Coffee is most definitely an integral part of my painting process, though I opt to support my independent local coffee shops. I get settled in with my brushes in one hand and coffee cup in the other and start painting away. I usually listen to NPR or podcasts. I prefer listening to people talk while I'm working.
Ann and Meg: What’s the process that goes into a painting? Layers of paint and long dry-time?
Angie: I start with a layer of brightly colored acrylic paint, which varies from painting to painting. Then I sketch in the composition with charcoal. The next step is to define the positive and negative space with a high contrast layer of oil paint. After that layer dries, I work on top to refine the shapes and add color, again using oil paint.
Ann and Meg: What or whom is your art inspiration?
Angie: I find the most inspiration from stuff I see on road trips. I often find myself pulling off the road to photograph random rusty things. It takes me forever to get anywhere. I just moved to Chicago and all this new input and new environment is really exciting and inspiring.
In the American Art Collector piece, Angie says she’s “inspired by industrial landscapes at the moment.” Only Angie could take an old, beat-up and weathered factory and create pure visual poetry with it.(“The Factory” 24 x 32)
Ann and Meg: Favorite museum? Go-to painting when you’ve got artist’s block?
Angie: In San Francisco, where I just moved from, it was the DeYoung. Now that I'm in Chicago, I've got a whole slew of new museums to check out. The Art Institute is amazing. I've embarrassingly not yet been to the Contemporary Museum of Art. I seek out contemporary art when I'm feeling stuck, so I'm sure the CMA will fast become my favorite.
Ann and Meg: What most people don’t know about me…
Angie: That's a hard one...I suppose that I'm quite a nerd/artist hybrid. What I didn't mention before about the podcasts I listen to while working is that they are mostly science-based podcasts. If I had to do it all over again, I'd want to be a neurologist.
Ann and Meg: My favorite way to unwind is to…
Angie: I'm a big fan of picnics. I'll just grab a friend or two and some wine and cheese and hang out in the park. Also, I love going on long runs with my dog, Lucille.
Ann and Meg: Favorite travel destination? Why?
Angie: That's also a hard one. I suppose Spain is one of the most artistically stimulating for me. It's just so vibrant - the people, the culture, the food...It is definitely a place I'd like to live someday.
Ann and Meg: Three things you can’t live without?
Angie: Coffee, baked goods, my laptop
Ann and Meg: Favorite flower (or weed!)?
Angie: I suppose right now it is the dandelion. I just began a series of paintings of them and find them really interesting and beautiful.
Ann and Meg: You never leave the house without?
Angie: Lip-gloss, water bottle, snacks (I'm always hungry), sketchbook
Ann and Meg: Three words for aspiring artists:
Angie: Find your voice.
Thanks, Angie. We’re your biggest fans.